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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - July 22, 2009

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

July 22, 2009

On July 22, 2009, a regular meeting of the Chesterfield Township Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Township Hall located at 47275 Sugarbush, Chesterfield Twp., MI 48047.

1. CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Stepnak called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

. ROLL CALL: Present: Marvin Stepnak, Chairman

Carl Leonard, Vice-Chairman,

Nancy Orewyler, Secretary Paula Frame, Planning Commission liaison

Brian Scott DeMuynck, Township board liaison

Gerald Blake

James Klonowski

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Chairman Stepnak explained the procedures to the audience.

4. ZBA PETITION # 2009- 09: Thomas L. Terzo, 51921 N. Adele Circle, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Requesting variance for a second garage and to be 122’ over the allowed square footage on a 24’ x 26’ detached garage. Location is the address stated above. Tabled 5-27-09.

Motion by Mr. Leonard to take ZBA Petition # 2009-09 off the table

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: All

Nay: None

Motion Granted

Thomas L. Terzo, 51921 N. Adele Circle, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that originally came in front of the board in May requesting a variance to build a second garage and to be 122' over the allowed square footage with an accessory building and garage attached to the home. The reason for requesting the structure would be that they do not have enough room in the current garage. It was the minimum size allowed when the house was built in 1988. He stated that they purchased the home in 1998. At that time, he would have been able to complete the project without the variance, but the ordinance was changed. He does not have enough room in the garage for his vehicles and proper storage of his yard equipment, tools, lawnmower and snow blower. He explained that currently they have a small plastic shed which stored some of the equipment. However, it is too small and the roof was blown off about a month ago from a storm. He owns an older Jeep that is in showroom condition that he would like to keep in that garage and he would like to park another of his vehicles in that garage to get it off the street. He has had vehicles damaged while parked in the roadway. He would like to get his vehicles off the street and in a garage. Along side the house there is 17' which would be enough to put a 14' driveway and still have enough room to be off the neighbor's property. Others in the subdivision have put in the same driveway along side of their homes; however, they have not put in the additional garage. The garage would be off the property lines and easements. There would be 25' between the house and the structure. He stated that he spoke to Mr. Shortt when he came to look at the property and guaranteed to him that the driveway would be properly pitched to make sure run-off is proper; so there would not be any drainage issues. He reiterated that he would have been able to complete the project without the variance, but the ordinance was changed. Instead, he put in a large pool and attached it to the deck behind the home when he purchased it. At that time, the kids were small and they used the pool. Now the kids are big and one is going to college, so they do not use the pool that much. Therefore, they are currently removing the pool and have torn out the attached deck to make room to put the garage in the back. The garage would have the same appearance as the home and match the existing garage; he is just waiting for the approval. It would have a brick front and vinyl sides to match the wood of the house. The proposed structure would be esthetically pleasing to the eye and he would guarantee there would be no commercial use of the building. It would just be for their personal use. Last year they looked at different properties and different homes and they decided that instead of moving out of town and into a bigger lot somewhere; they would like to stay here. They are happy with the services in Chesterfield and they like where they are at. He stated that his family has supported the Police and Fire Departments here and have supported the millages. He reiterated that they would like to stay in the Township. He commented that they discussed the plans with both of their neighbors: Mr. Joseph Cada to the south at 51903 N. Adele Circle and Mr. Neal Hochstein to the north at 51939 N. Adele Circle. These neighbors have both stated to him that they do not have any objection to the proposed building. He did not want to burden the neighbors by having them write letters. So he does not have anything in writing. He commented that their word was good to him and his word should be good to the board. He explained that at the last meeting the present board members asked for some concessions. He altered the original plan for a structure 24' wide by 26' deep with a 16' door to a 20' wide by 26' deep building with a 12' door. So he cut off a little on the sides, still looking to have the depth. He stated that the reason he wanted the depth was to accommodate his Ford truck which is 22’ 6" long. He would like to put that truck in the structure and have some room to move around it. Ms. Frame came out to the property and asked if he planned to run a business out of the garage and he answered no. He does not have a business. He does like to tinker with cars but he owns them. He would like the 20' x 26' structure, however, if the board does not approve that size; he drew up plans for a 20' x 24' garage.

Chairman Stepnak lives on Mitchell, so he knows where the petitioner lives. He has seen the white truck and knows why the petitioner needs the depth.

Mr. Klonowski stated that the petitioner has two accessory buildings and only one is allowed for this zone and size of lot. Three cars for parking in a structure are allowed; this would allow four, even though the garage attached to the house is small. He explained that those are his concerns.

Mr. Leonard commented that the petitioner mentions that he could work with a 20' x 24' garage. He asked the petitioner the size of the truck?

Petitioner answered that the truck was 22' 6" long.

Mr. Leonard asked if the petitioner was to have the detached garage at 20' x 24' and the primary garage would he also plan to keep the shed on the property?

Petitioner replied that he has a small plastic shed from Home Depot and he planned to remove it from the property.

Mr. Leonard asked so the petitioner would just have the attached and detached garages?

Petitioner answered yes. There would not be any other sheds.

Mr. Leonard commented that the attached garage is pretty small. Furthermore, the property behind the petitioner is wide open.

Petitioner explained that he believed the neighbor to the rear of him has on an 8 acre parcel which he farms with the residence on Foster. He has not spoken with that gentleman, however, he assumes that he got a letter just like the other neighbors in the area and no one has shown up to state that they had a problem.

Mr. Leonard stated that he did not believe that any of the person who were sent a notice came out to state they had a problem with this.

Chairman Stepnak commented that the notices were sent to the neighbors and it was published in the Voice and no one has come forward.

Mr. Leonard commented that the petitioner would like to build the structure for his vehicles, lawn equipment......

Petitioner stated that he also has a snow blower, lawnmowers, weed mulcher, tools.

Mr. Leonard stated that the structure is only twice the size of what would be allowed for a shed and because the existing garage is so small, he feels a little bit better about this now.

Ms. Frame explained that she had gone to the property earlier in the day and had her questions answered by the petitioner. She believes that bringing down the size of the structure made it reasonable for this area.

Mr. Blake asked what utilities the petitioner planned to run out of the structure?

Petitioner answered that he planned to have electricity and gas in the garage. He already had the gas and electric out there for his pool. He stated because it was already there, he planned to have the builder put it in the structure. That way, he could go out to the garage in the winter and work on his cars.

Ms. Orewyler asked the size of the petitioner's attached garage?

Petitioner answered 19' x 22' in which he can barely fit two vehicles.

Mr. Leonard stated that the garage was 418 square feet.

Ms. Orewyler commented that she had the same concerns that she had last time. She would not have a problem with a 10' x 12' shed, but the petitioner would be asking for something that would be 100% larger than that.

Mr. DeMuynck stated that his questions were answered last time. The petitioner has also downsized the structure two more feet and he does not have a problem with it.

Mr. Shortt commented that the Building Department did not have a problem with it.

Chairman Stepnak stated the petitioner did work with the board in downsizing the garage so that it would be less intrusive. He also contacted Mr. Shortt and the Building Department to discuss different options. He stated that the petitioner needed to prove a practical difficulty for the variance to be granted.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the notice was published in the Voice Newspaper and notices were sent to neighbors 300 feet from the property. So basically, anyone concerned about this matter had their chance to be in front of the board.

Ms. Orewyler commented that this structure would set a precedent for the area.

Mr. Leonard explained that the existing attached garage is 418 square feet and the new structure would be 480 square feet and when adding the two it would only be 898 square feet; which would be under the allowable 920 square feet even though it is a second garage.

Motion by Ms. Orewyler to deny Petition # 2009-09 for showing no practical difficulty.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: Orewyler and Klonowski

Nays: Leonard, Stepnak, DeMuynck, Frame and Blake Motion Denied

Motion by Mr. DeMuynck to approve Petition # 2009-09 for the variance to build a second garage with a correction on the size. The structure would be 20' wide x 24' deep with a 12' door.

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: Leonard, Stepnak, DeMuynck, Frame and Blake

Nays: Orewyler and Klonowski Motion Granted

5. ZBA PETITION # 2009-10: Norman and Carol Schrage who reside at

28426 Hendrie, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Requesting variance for a second garage, a 912 detached, also to be 487’ over the allowed square footage. Location is the address stated above.

Carol Schrage, 28426 Hendrie, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that they were requesting to build a second garage and to be 487 square feet over the allowable square footage. The reason for the request was that her father-in-law passed away recently and left her husband all his woodworking and metal working tools as well as his 2006 Mustang GT convertible. Therefore, they need a structure to store these items. They also need more room to store their children's toys and necessary lawn equipment. Their current two car garage is barely large enough to park their two vehicles. Their tools are currently stored in their basement. Which means when they need something they must through the living room and the kitchen and down a set of stairs through the family room and into the basement. They cannot store gas power tools down there or anything that is bulky or heavy for safety reasons. They currently store the children's toys outside which the neighbors have claimed creates an eyesore. With the second garage they would be able to clean up the property and make it more attractive for the property owners in the neighborhood. Since their immediate neighbors both have second garages they have no objections. The neighbors actually welcomed the second structure so they can clean up their property. She commented that they would like to have the same opportunity as their neighbors and be able to store their things in a structure. She explained that they have spent a lot of time improving their home in the last eight years since they purchased the home. This would be just one more improvement to be made to the property. The garage would match the siding on the house and would be an attractive that would add value to their property. She stated that they chose their neighborhood because it is quiet with larger sized lots. They love living there and have no plans to move. The garage would only be for their personal use and they would not be running a business out of the structure. She explained that in the packet they have a satellite view of the neighborhood and have circled the parcels in the area with second garages.

Mr. DeMuynck stated that when he drove through the neighborhood he saw the other garages and he was sure that when those structures were built when the ordinance was different. That is the problem they are running into with an ordinance that was changed years back. He asked what was the size of their attached garage? He asked if it was 20' wide by 23' deep?

Petitioner answered that she thought it was about 20' x 22' with inside dimensions.

Mr. DeMuynck verified that the garage shows that it 466 square feet and the petitioner's want to build an accessory structure that would be 24' x 38'. He commented that he understood the reason the petitioners want the structure but he feels it would be much too large for that area.

Petitioner answered that they would be willing to go smaller.

Mr. DeMuynck added that the petitioners also have a shed in their back yard and that would have to come down.

Petitioner answered that would not be a problem.

Mr. DeMuynck asked what size the petitioner would be willing to go down to?

Norman Schrage 28426 Hendrie, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Mr. Schrage asked if 24' x 32' would be acceptable?

Mr. DeMuynck stated that he felt that size would still be too large.

Chairman Stepnak explained that the board cannot get into negotiations on the size of the structure. The petitioner can offer to change the petition and the only thing the board should be doing is stating their concerns.

Mr. DeMuynck stated that his concern would be that the size would be too large for that area.

Ms. Frame had no questions.

Ms. Orewyler stated that she was concerned that the structure was much too large. She explained that she drove through the neighborhood and noticed all the large garages, however, she does not think adding to the problem would help the situation. She commented that it would be up to the petitioners to down size the structure to an acceptable size. She added that she would never okay something this size. She explained that she would okay an accessory structure. She commented that the petitioner refers to this as a shed; she would call it a garage. She would like to see it down sized to a large shed with a door on it. She reiterated that she would never okay something this size.

Mr. Klonowski stated that he had the same concerns as Ms. Orewyler. He explained that this would allow a four car garage, 2 accessory buildings. The lot is just a little too small for the proposed building.

Mr. Leonard concurred with the other board members and stated that the proposed structure was way too large. He commented that he noticed the petitioner's home was a tri-level. He asked if the petitioner's had a basement?

Petitioner stated that they have a very small unfinished basement under the right hand side of the house.

Mr. Leonard asked if she was referring to the one story area?

Petitioner replied yes.

Mr. Leonard asked then the bi-level has to levels of living space?

Petitioner answered correct. The lower level is on a slab.

Mr. Leonard stated that the proposed garage was way over sized. He commented that the sketch showing the existing garage had the outside dimensions of 21.5' by 23' which would make it 494.5 square feet.

Petitioner stated that they had measured the inside dimensions of their existing garage.

Mr. Blake commented that the proposed structure was much too large.

Chairman Stepnak stated that basically the board was looking at a very large structure. His main concern would be that a business might be run out of the building. That does not mean he believed the petitioner's would run a business. However, if the petitioner's sell the property, someone else might attempt to use the building as a business. We have looked at structures of this size on acreage. The petitioners have a lot 100' x 200' which is a large lot; however it is located in a subdivision. This structure would not be tucked behind the petitioner's home and would be visible from the roadway. As for negotiation, that is not really something the board can do. The board can look at entertaining something smaller within reason that the petitioner may present to the board. It would be up to the petitioner to propose any changes to the petition; not the board. This structure is much larger than a normal garage.

Mr. Leonard stated that even a structure 24' x 24' is a very large two-car garage.

Petitioner asked if they could amend the petition at that time to downsize the proposed garage to a 24' x 24' structure with the removal of the existing shed.

Mr. Shortt stated that he could not get back there but there was a dog back there and a gate. However, the neighbors behind the petitioner came out to talk to him. They told him that there is a drainage problem already on the property. The neighbors are worried that if the petitioner puts the garage up it will just worsen the problem. They are concerned about where all the water would go.

Mr. Schrage stated that there are drain tile on both sides of the lot.

Mr. Shortt commented that the neighbors claimed it was still not enough.

Mr. Schrage claimed that those neighbors had a 6" drain that ran all the way to Anchor Street.

Mr. Shortt stated that could be a problem back there. He asked if the petitioner planned to put a driveway back there?

Mr. Schrage explained that he was willing to work with the board and the Building Department. If the neighbors do not want a driveway back there, they would work with the board on whatever was acceptable.

Mr. Shortt stated that the petitioner would also need to get a permit for their pool.

Mack Prevost, 28801 Anchor Drive, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Mr. Prevost stated that the petitioner's were his daughter and son-in-law. He claimed that he put in a 4" edge drain from the rear of the lot line to Hendrie Street and hooked it into the 12" county street drains. He made some additional comments that were inaudible.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the drainage on the property is not an issue for the board. If the board approves the variance. The petitioner would still need to comply with all the engineering specs, and requirements of the Building Department. It is the petitioner's obligation to present a proposal to the board and is not part of the board's responsibility to negotiate. The petitioner is obligated to come in front of the board and prove a practical difficulty for any type of variance.

Mr. Prevost stated that he recently retired from the Macomb County Road Commission where he worked as the maintenance superintendent for many years worked in the field for many years as a project leader. So, drainage is what he did for 27 years. So, he does know a little bit about drainage and what he did on the property does work.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the board's main concern was the physical size of the structure. If the board only approved a 10' x 10 shed; the petitioners would still have to comply with all requirements of the Building Department. The petitioner did propose a 24' x 24' structure with the removal of the other out building.

Mr. Leonard commented that the petitioners did some homework and there appears to be 12 buildings on a few different neighboring streets that have accessory structures. He stated that the 24' x 24' would be a total of 576 square feet and when adding that to the existing square footage of the existing garage, the total would be 1071 square feet. He commented that out of the 12 buildings listed, there are only three buildings that would be less square footage than that. Therefore, that would really seem to conform to what has been going on in that area. He believes that the petitioners have a practical difficulty because the house is a tri-level and the basement storage is minimal. This proposal would blend in more than what was first proposed.

Mr. Shortt stated that the Building Department does not really have a problem with the variance. He commented that the petitioner would still have to get a permit for his pool and get rid of his old shed. The new garage would look great and the property would get cleaned up, so the Building Department would be in favor of it.

Mr. DeMuynck asked what size garage door would the petitioners plan to use?

Petitioner replied that he originally wanted a 16' door on the larger size garage. He thought that with the smaller size he could probably use a 12' or 14' door.

Chairman Stepnak asked if the materials used on the new structure would match the home?

Petitioner answered yes.

Motion by Mr. Leonard to approve Petition # 2009-09 with the revised size of the detached garage at 24' x 24' with a 12' wide garage door. The esthetics of the structure would match or blend in with the existing home and garage. The petitioners would be allowed to put electricity in the structure and be required to sign an affidavit that they would not run a business out of the building. He commented that the lots in the area are a little bit larger and there are already a number of accessory buildings in the area. It is a well kept up area and he did not feel this garage would detract from that.

Supported by Ms. Frame

Ayes: Leonard, Stepnak, DeMuynck, Frame and Blake

Nays: Orewyler and Klonowski Motion Granted

6. ZBA PETITION # 2009-11: David Miller for Presbyterian Village, 33875 Kiely Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Requesting a 21’ height variance for a proposed steeple to go atop a proposed chapel addition to the existing Presbyterian Village site located at the above address.

David Miller, 33875 Kiely Drive, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board

Petitioner stated that he was representing Presbyterian Village. He explained that they are hoping to break ground for a chapel. The residents for the past year and a half have raised funds for the project. He commented that many of those ladies were seated in the room that evening. They are here in front of the board requesting a variance for the steeple that will go atop the chapel. The chapel has been designed as the centerpiece of their campus. The steeple is something that they would like people to see right away when they enter the campus. The steeple as it is designed is about 21' above what is currently allowed under the ordinance.

Gary E. Gendernalik, 52624 Laurel Oak Lane, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Mr. Gendernalik stated that on June 28, 2006 the ZBA over ruled the Township board and allowed them to build a four-story building for our expansion. He pointed out on some plans where the chapel would be located. He stated in the beginning he went to the campus candy store and bought four bags of M & M's and with his steel tape they figured out the size of the building that they wanted that would fit in that space. They did not need an architect or engineer at the time, just a good lawyer. good ladies and four bags of M & M's. The chapel would be located at the center of the campus and near the existing building so that the people in these areas could easily get to it. Basically, the only variance needed would be for the 21'. He stated that he has lived about 12 years on Embassy. He and his neighbors planted a lot of beautiful maple trees which are now 25 ' to 30' high. Some of the evergreen trees at Presbyterian Village are 25' high. So where the steeple is located would not have any adverse impact on any of the surrounding neighbors. Basically, the ordinance has a restriction on height so that a board could review if something this large would have an adverse impact. If the steeple was cut off at a lower dimension, it would take away from the esthetic design that the architect put in place. The steeple would not be wide at the top and it would be a non-denominational chapel so it would not have a crucifix on the top. The chapel would be a place where memorial services and wedding anniversaries can be celebrated. The have site plan approval from the Planning Commission and they plan to have a ground breaking ceremony on September 25th at 3 PM. He invited the board to join them for the ground breaking. The money for this project was a kind of resident’s stimulus package. They raised a significant amount of money for this chapel. They basically have the money to move forward on the project this construction season. They would just like the board's approval on the variance.

Mr. Leonard asked if the chapel would strictly be used for the residents? It would not be used for outside traffic to attend services or anything.

Mr. Gendernalik stated that he went in there for a board meeting that was in an adjacent room and he went in there wearing a black suit. People attending a 60th wedding anniversary for their parents thought he was the minister. He stated that he told them that was his brother, not him. So, the idea is to have a facility for religious services such as that. They had a memorial service for Betty Tobin and Pat Grow, who gave a lot of money to the Chesterfield Library, in a multi-purpose room. So the idea is to have a chapel to possibly have a funeral, an anniversary, for meditation and for services provided by their chaplain.

Petitioner stated that they currently have vesper services every Sunday in their activities room and that of course would transfer to the chapel.

Mr. Leonard asked so the chapel would not be for the public?

Petitioner replied the chapel would be for the residents, staff and their families.

Mr. Gendernalik stated that when his brother was a priest, he lived there. He would say mass, however, he had to do it in his room or in a multi-purpose room. These ladies moved forward on this project because they wanted a place to worship.

Mr. Leonard asked if the entire building was approved except for the chapel?

Mr. Gendernalik answered correct. The Planning Commission approved the site plan subject to the ZBA's approval of the steeple variance.

Mr. Leonard asked if the four-story building that was approved a few years ago had been built?

Petitioner replied that they are still in the pre-sale stage on that part of the project.

Mr. Leonard asked if the building permits were now expired?

Mr. Gendernalik explained that they were issued a PUD and that is good for three years.

Mr. Leonard commented that other than esthetics, he is having a hard time finding a reason to put up a 21' steeple. He does not see what the practical difficulty would be for something so tall.

Mr. Gendernalik explained that zoning ordinances are made to put some regulations on building in the Township. Obviously, churches have been built in communities and historically, whether, Chesterfield, New Baltimore, or wherever; churches have steeples that generally exceed the normal height of any surrounding building. That is part of the symbolism of any church

Mr. Leonard commented that he just wanted to know if there were any other reasons for the higher steeple other than esthetics.

Mr. Blake stated that he had no problem with the steeple.

Ms. Orewyler stated that she did not have a problem with it. She thought it was beautifully designed and like the location of the chapel. It fits in with the building and she likes that the residents can get inside the chapel without going outside and she was sure they considered people getting in the facility with wheel chairs. She reiterated that she had no problem with it.

Mr. Klonowski had not problem with it.

Ms. Frame stated that she agreed with Ms. Orewyler that the building was beautiful and esthetically pleasing. She had no problem with it.

Mr. DeMuynck stated that he had no problem with the variance. Presbyterian Village has been in the Township for many years and they are a great asset for the Township.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he agreed with Mr. DeMuynck that Presbyterian Village has been an asset to the community for many years and he has no problem with the variance.

There were no public comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that the Building Department had no problems.

Motion by Mr. DeMuynck to approve Petition # 2009-11 for Presbyterian Village, 33875 Kiely Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047. for a requested 21’ height variance for a proposed steeple to go atop a proposed chapel addition to the existing Presbyterian Village site.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: All

Nay: None Motion Granted

7. OLD BUSINESS: ZBA #2007-37: Elmer Rabine, 48280 Jefferson, Chesterfield,

MI 48047. Requesting a 6 month extension on a previously approved request for a second accessory structure, and to be 151’ over allowed square footage of same structure.

There was a rather lengthy discussion by the board concerning the extension of the variance.

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to approve the extension of the variance on

ZBA #2007-37 for a 6 month period ending sometime in January 2010. He stated that the petitioner did not attend the meeting. The board has moved on extensions because of the tough economic times people are facing. He added that the board feels six more months should give the petitioner a leg up to get started on the project.

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: All

Nay: None Motion Granted

Mr. Shortt mentioned a ZBA petition that had been approved on a shed for the last house on Bayshore Drive on the Lake. At the time, the petitioner had stated his old shed blew down and he wanted to replace it with a new one. He presented a letter signed by both his neighbors stating they had no objection. Now, he and the one neighbor are feuding. Now that neighbor has been complaining that a paragraph was added to the letter he signed and he wants the matter to go back to the ZBA.

There was a discussion among the board members about the situation.

8. NEW BUSINESS:

Chairman Stepnak welcomed Ms. Paula Frame as the new ZBA liaison from the Planning Commission. He also thanked Mr. Shortt for attending the meeting.

9. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETING.

Motion by Ms. Orewyler to approve the minutes of the May 27, 2009 meeting

Supported Chairman Stepnak

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

10. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

Mr. Leonard stated that he would not be attending the August 12, 2009 ZBA meeting.

11. ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by Mr. Blake to adjourn at 8:19 PM

Supported by Ms. Orewyler

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Nancy Orewyler, Secretary
Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary

 

 

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